According to recent studies, scoliosis is the most prevalent deformity in adolescents, with the average scoliosis-related hospital stay hovering somewhere around $100k. In fact, spinal abnormalities account for nearly half of all the nation’s healthcare visits, which totals about 900,000 annually.
The National Scoliosis Foundation estimates that more than four million American children suffer from this oft-debilitating spinal deformity. Furthermore, there are approximately 29,000 scoliosis surgeries performed each year in the US, all of which are for children who might have otherwise benefitted from a more nourishing diet and balanced hormones.
What Is Scoliosis?
Most people have backs that are relatively straight. However, a person with scoliosis will have a back that curves to one side. The degree at which a person’s back curves can vary widely. In general, any curvature that measures more than 10° is considered indicative of scoliosis. As a result of the deformity, many people experience extreme back and body pain.
FACT: Medical professionals often use the letters “C” or “S” to describe the shape of a person’s spinal curvature.
What Causes It?
For the most part, medical professionals are unsure as to what causes a person’s spine to curve. Only about 20% of all known cases of scoliosis have a clear cause. Thus, scoliosis without a known cause is commonly referred to as “idiopathic.”
The cases of scoliosis with a clear cause are often divided into two types:
The spine functions as expected but appears curved. It may be caused by a variety of factors including:
In most cases, nonstructural scoliosis goes away over time with regular chiropractic care.
The spine’s curvature is visible and rigid. It may be caused by a variety of factors including:
In most cases, structural scoliosis is not reversible even with rigorous treatments. However, regular chiropractic care can lessen pain and improve mobility despite the innate limitations caused by a severe spinal curvature.
Furthermore, studies have found a direct link between a person’s genetics and the development of idiopathic scoliosis. While most cases of scoliosis appear between the ages of 10 and 15 when children experience growth spurts and raging hormones. Interestingly, female patients are 10 times more likely to suffer from structural scoliosis if an idiopathic or nonstructural curvature is left untreated.
FACT: There’s one type not mentioned above: degenerative scoliosis. It typically develops in adults due to a degeneration of the joints and disks in their lower back. Usually, it can be treated with rigorous chiropractic treatments and a spine-supporting diet.
How Do Hormone Imbalances Affect Scoliosis?
While some adults may experience a form of scoliosis, adolescents are far more susceptible for numerous reasons:
According to research, diet directly affects a person’s hormonal balance (or lack thereof). On the same spectrum, a hormonal imbalance may be fixed with the right diet. However, an improper diet and/or imbalanced hormones can exacerbate the pain or progression of scoliosis, even in children who are not genetically predisposed. Since scoliosis is a neuro-hormonal condition, a good diet can halt its progression by providing the brain and body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
A poor diet leaves the brain and body low of important minerals – substances that act as neurotransmitters telling the spine to grow straight. Although an inadequate diet can’t cause idiopathic scoliosis, a lack of response from various neurotransmitters due to a hormonal imbalance caused by a poor diet and other factors may contribute to the development or worsening of scoliosis in many patients.
3 Tips for Correcting Hormone Imbalances through Diet
The experts at chiropractor Anchorage suggest the following diet and lifestyle tips to help stop scoliosis progression in its tracks: